How do I move on? Am I ready?
November 19, 2010 8:27 AM Subscribe
Exactly one week ago I broke up with my boyfriend who I loved because I felt like things were unhealthy and he wasn't treating me right. Even though my brain tells me I did the 'right' thing, my heart and body are suffering. How do I reconcile what I know with how I feel?
posted by lblair to Human Relations (42 answers total) 12 users marked this as a favorite
I've been reading a lot of old AskMe's and although there are lots of people who claimed to have broken up (or want to break up with) someone they love, they don't seem the same as mine. In all those cases, it sounded more like "i love you but i'm not IN love with you anymore and although i don't want to hurt you, i want to move on." i broke up with someone i am still fully IN love with and did not want to be broken up with. But it seemed like the issues we had weren't getting better and when I expressed interest in trying to improve things, he didn't seem to agree that there was a problem. For me, the biggest problem was the way he acted when we would get in a disagreement. I desperately wanted us to just be able to talk calmly and have a productive discussion about whatever was going on. He had a tendency toward defensiveness and what would start out as a small thing would escalate into a high level of anger on his end. He would say things that were mean and later take them back and say he didn't mean it and was just angry. He never seemed to understand that asking for forgiveness after saying something mean didn't erase it- i did forgive him all the time, but a lot of that negative stuff built up in me and it hurts. also, i tried to be forgiving because i am convinced he is depressed and dealing with quite a lot of shit on his own plate- but he's been resistant to my suggestions that he needs to talk to a doctor or therapist. actually in general i think he has a negative attitude towards a lot of things in his life- that was another reason for me, I was worried about our future together with that sort of attitude. but i also let it go a lot because i thought it was stemming from his depression and that somehow, at some point, he would seek treatment and things would improve. (clearly did not happen.)
the thing about all that though is that it didn't necessarily happen on a regular basis. on a day to day level things were pretty normal. and like i said- i'm totally in love with him. i don't know how or why but despite all the bad things and anger and negativity i still love him and it kills me. being in love with someone who lashes out at you (never physically though) even occasionally, is incredibly painful.
Of course, now that I've actually broken up with him and made him move out (which was awful) he wants to fix things, he still loves me, i'm the best thing he had, he's so sorry, etc etc. we haven't talked face to face because I don't think I could control my emotional reaction if I saw him. I'd want to fall right into his arms and say "lets make this work." i'd want to believe all his promises to change even though he has promised it before and not followed through. we've been texting in small bursts here and there and i explained that while i do love him, the situation was too painful and i thought he needed some time on his own to sort through his issues and deal with the anger and depression. i can't stop dwelling on this fantasy where he decides that losing me is the worst thing ever, and he suddenly overcomes all his problems and comes back to me and wants to make things work. i try NOT to think about that, because there's a good chance it'll never happen, and even if it did happen it might still be a bad idea to go down that road. i just don't know. it's been a week and i can't think clearly at all, i sleep and cry and feel like shit and miss him like crazy and my whole being is screaming at me that i made a mistake even though- like i said, in my brain, i think i did the right thing. oh, and i also dwell on this idea that maybe we could still see each other and be a couple while living apart, while we 'fix' things, but . . . that sounds crazy right? i just think rushing into living together was harder on him than on me. FWIW- we're both 27. I've had serious relationships before and lived with people before. He's had some relationships but nothing too serious and never lived with anybody. I definitely feel like this is the first time either of us has been in love and our bond is strong. So . . . where the hell do i go from here?
I oscillate back and forth between thinking "just move on and you'll find someone better" (but then I feel sickened by the idea of being with a guy who isn't him) and "things will work out this is just a rough patch" (but that seems like dangerous thinking too, i mean, obviously this relationship is not healthy, is it?) i'm really confused and sad. I am sorry to be posting a question about this, I tried to resist the urge but I really feel lost in this moment and I need some help.
thanks so much. also, if tough love is in order that's fine but please be gentle on me. i already feel pretty low and horrible. i've been having a difficult time eating/sleeping/going anywhere so i feel pretty wrecked after 7 days of this.